The challenge of planning an efficient office design and layout can seem like a daunting task. Several key factors must be considered to secure a space that balances utilitarian functionalities with creative interior design.
Whether the purpose of designing a new office layout is for expanding, remodeling, or moving into new office quarters, the process can be exciting, albeit slightly overwhelming. After all, your office design can significantly affect your personal image.
With careful considerations to office space planning, you can create an office space that promotes productivity and innovation in the workplace while attracting and retaining talent with the company.
Here are the key elements you have to consider when designing your new office:
1. Your requirements
First things first, your planning process should define the planning requirements of your new office design. Whether it’s moving to a new space or renovating the current office layout, start by defining the top reasons and goals your business has for a new space. Yes, it takes a lot of time and money to design/redesign your office and the reasons why you are planning to make changes in the design should guide your whole design process.
Some reasons may include office relocation, a merger or acquisition, or it may come down to the simple need to consolidate existing space as your business experiences departmental shifts and new divisions of labor.
Similarly, the main goals to redesign office space may be to increase productivity and efficiency or rebrand the business to modernize it for internal and external audiences, making it easier to attract new talent to the company.
By first understanding the purpose and requirements of a new office layout, you can discover ‘best practices’ and design trends, as well as the right professional interior design company to work with that, speaks to your brand’s personality.
2. The importance of lighting
Lighting, be it your home or your office, is one of the most important aspects in the whole designing process from an interior designer’s perspective. When natural lighting is used in a corporate space, firms can reduce their energy consumption and lower electricity bills. But the use of natural light can have an impact on office productivity and overall health as well. The use of natural light in an office setting has been shown to boost productivity, work satisfaction and mood, and worker health. Natural light, therefore, is beneficial for the overall mood in the office.
As such, when designing your new office layout, consider the importance of natural light. Natural light is vital for productivity and motivation purposes. Take into consideration that office furniture or equipment does not obstruct or block sources of natural light.
Complement natural light with modern lighting technology such as LED lighting solutions to truly create an office space that’s conducive for work.
3. The right colors
Designing a new layout for your office is the perfect time to integrate color schemes to your office setting. Colors are a powerful form of communication. They can evoke certain emotional responses according to the selected color scheme.
Picking a perfect color for your office can be a bit challenging and is a bit different from picking a perfect color combination for your condo. When developing a new layout, use color to its fullest potential. Incorporating the color green through workspaces, for example, has significant implications on office productivity, efficiency, and employee recruitment and retention.
Examine your brand’s style guideline and use colors that work with your company’s branding.
Striking the right balance is key when incorporating color to design elements. Too much color can become overbearing and fatiguing. Similarly, not enough color, or having too much white can hinder the productivity in an office environment.
4. Navigation and space
An effective floor plan will ensure your office layout is functional and serves its utilitarian purpose for fire code safety and evacuation plans. At the same time, fluid navigation can affect collaboration and team engagement.
Managing and utilizing space effectively ensures that your new floor plan can strategically scale with the business as it grows strength to strength.
Special considerations to navigation and space create a task-orientated working environment that enables employees to perform and collaborate better while accommodating growth.
The new office layout should also consider the importance of varying working environments. This includes creating spaces for collaborative work and individual, quiet projects.
5. Turning the workplace into a destination
With virtual offices and remote work on the rise, organizations must create offices that enhance culture and is fully enjoyed by its staff. With office space being a valuable real estate investment, companies must utilize every square inch to create a work environment that’s inviting, inspiring, and comfortable.
Furniture throughout the office should be flexible and multi-functional. Multi-purpose rooms, a working cafe, and lounge spaces give staff a desirable destination that they will fully employ day in and day out. When planning a new office layout, democratize key areas of the office.
This encourages active participation, strategic collaboration, and improved productivity.
Seeing the big picture
The design and layout of your office’s workspace will have a significant impact on productivity, engagement, employee satisfaction, brand impact, and talent recruitment. Careful consideration must be given to planning to create an office layout that’s approachable and strategically designed to be conducive to work.
It’s not possible to take into consideration the individual choices of color, lighting, space etc. Therefore, as a designer, your aim should be creating a design which is acceptable to ‘most’ of the people i.e. any design idea which is generally acceptable.
Of course, you can use your skills and knowledge as a designer to come up with something brilliant, but you should remember that the office will be used by regular people and every individual is going to have a different taste and preference. A general approach, therefore, is the best way to go.
CEO at Interact Group LLC
Interact Group is a design-led interior fit-out company that aims to set new standards in the UAE interiors market. Driven by their dedication to total customer experience, the company’s mission is to bring truly specialized teams to complex design and fit out challenges, utilizing their unmatched ability to deliver spaces efficiently and above expectation.
What Makes Startup Studios Successful? By Startup Studio Insider
So you’ve heard the buzzword “startup studio,” but what exactly does it mean to be a startup studio? Here are the answers you need about why startup studios are becoming a popular model for entrepreneurial success and how this trend is changing corporate innovation.
What is a Startup Studio?
Startup Studio Insider defines a startup studio as an organization that provides investment, resources, and guidance to startups in order to build and launch successful startups in various industries. Some people call it a venture studio, others call it a startup factory or startup studio. No matter what you call it, this startup model is quickly gaining traction in helping launch startups everywhere.
Startup studios allow founders to focus all their time and energy on developing every aspect behind their business idea, while studios are dedicated to minimizing any challenges that come along the way. By offering a wide range of resources, industry knowledge, and the funding required to build, launch, and support a startup (even after post-launch), startup studios are becoming a game-changing solution for rising startups.
From Atomic to Wilbur Labs and eFounders, numerous startups are being built around the world and gaining major traction along the way. Deciding the best path to found and build a company can be a daunting task. To help you understand the unique offerings of startup studios, here are some of the most important benefits startup studios offer:
How Startup Studios Protect Startups – Graphic by Startup Studio Insider
- Strategic Counsel
Startup entrepreneurs oftentimes lack the necessary experience to anticipate the roadblocks that come along with building a business. In addition, the expertise level of a founder doesn’t always cover all grounds including marketing knowledge, product development, testing, and research. That is not a problem for startup studios, as they provide a wide spectrum of tools and resources to build a perfect strategic plan. In addition, studios have access to a wealth of knowledge in technology tools and trends, business operations, human resources, and more, which become part of their core team to help startups succeed.
- Core and Shared Resources
Out of all the investment platforms, studios take the most hands-on approach and provide the most resources. With this, startup studios are able to provide access to the largest amount of top-notch resources to help enhance the vision and goals of the startup and cut down the launch time that could usually take a couple of years to about three months.
- Human Capital
Usually, the vast majority of startup companies are made up of small teams. This is why getting the perfect fit to support the launch and operations needs of your business is crucial. Startup studios help tackle this problem by recruiting the right team with diverse backgrounds and broad skills to handle the immense workload that comes with the challenge of launching a startup.
Building a startup from the ground off can be exhausting and cash-consuming. What frequently goes wrong is that startup management fails to achieve the next milestone before cash is exhausted. Startup studios are able to solve this problem by refining the needs and expenses required to prepare for the launch and avoid the risk of becoming insolvent by providing funds even after post-launch. This is one of the major differentiating factors of startup studios compared to their competitor founding models out there.
- In-Depth Market Research
According to Startup Studio Insider, startup studios are highly selective, and as a result, will not launch a startup without substantial research and data to prove that there is a market and potential for success. This in-depth market research ultimately leads to better decisions when preparing for the launch and can help mitigate any risks in the long run.
An Interview with Nathaniel Mell, Founder and CEO of Felt+Fat
Nathaniel Mell is the founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, a ceramic design, and manufacturing studio serving both professional and at-home chefs. Nate Mell started the Philadelphia-based company in 2014 after graduating from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and working at the world-renown Philadelphia Clay Studio.
Before his foray into ceramic design, Nate gained experience that included working in a variety of media, including glass, metal, wood, and mold-making. The opportunity to design a beautiful line of plates for Eli Kulp’s award-winning restaurant ‘High Street on Market’ oriented Mell towards exploring ceramic design in-depth. In doing so, he came up with the concept for a ceramic design studio catering to the Hospitality industry. The company name, Felt+Fat, came as a nod to the material explorations and theories of midcentury artist Joseph Beuys, one of Mell’s favorite artists.
Today, Nate Mell’s Felt and Fat has a track record of working with over 100 restaurants worldwide, producing more than 30,000 pieces annually, and being featured in the NY Times, the Forbes 30 under 30 list, and many other publications. Timeless design, ethical manufacturing, and intentionality toward relationships are the core values of the ever-growing team at Felt+Fat.
We recently got a chance to interview Nate.
Nate, Thank you for talking with us. What are the projects that you most enjoy working on?
I most enjoy working on custom projects, specifically for restaurants. Great chefs are artists and our mutual respect for craft and the collaborative energy involved in making a new shape or finish is really exciting. When my part is done I then get to see how they interact with the design, plating their food and presenting it in the context of the restaurant elevates it all to another level.
What was your biggest ‘a-ha’ moment?
This was early on. When I started this business I had been working in restaurants for nearly 8 years, supporting myself as an artist, and a chef asked if I could make him plates for a new restaurant. I said yes and initially took it on as a little gig to make a few dollars. Somewhere during the course of that project, I realized that the top restaurant in the world at the time (Noma) was using custom, hand-made tableware and that meant every aspiring chef in the world would be wanting to do the same now, we were on the crest of what could be a seachange in hospitality tableware. It was an exciting realization and what really prompted me to take this much more seriously.
What has been the most important part of your professional journey?
Understanding the importance of planning. I have never been much of a planner, very good at thinking on my feet and getting done what’s right in front of me, but over the years I’ve learned that sustainable growth happens when you pair that ability with solid, diligent planning and execution.
What are some of the risks that your company is currently facing?
We are currently looking at a lot of avenues for growth. Manufacturing means you are always walking that line of demand vs. supply. If you’re over-supplied that means you’re wasting money, if you’re undersupplied you disappoint customers. We have been growing quite a bit but are looking at rolling the dice on some big purchases that will help us up the supply side significantly, but the risk that the demand doesn’t pan out to justify the expense is always a scary thing.
What would you do with unlimited resources?
Create a top-of-the-line production facility with a best-in-class R&D studio bringing in young, world-class talent to create inventive and exciting new products.
When was the last time you totally lost yourself in doing something?
I routinely lose track of time while working on new designs, it’s easily one of the best parts of the job.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
My off time is spent with my wife and dog primarily. We go for hikes, cook great meals, mix cocktails and read aloud together or spend afternoons working on remodeling our small home (currently painting a new ceiling we put up last month).
You and your team at Felt+Fat are already making a positive impact with the “BadThings Happen in Philadelphia” product line. What more do you feel you can do to make a difference in your local community?
The BadThings line of products was a really fun experiment that allowed us to send money to causes we thought were worthwhile, we’ve often found things like that to do over the years but what I am most excited about moving forward is to be working with Baker Industries here in Philly. Baker finds work for hard-to-employ individuals; primarily the recently incarcerated. We’ve just recently hired our second employee through this program and are so happy to be providing jobs for individuals in our community who would have a hard time finding work otherwise. Not only do we get to help the community, but they have also been some of our best staff! It’s a win-win.
Inspiration and Wellness At Your Fingertips
There’s a great saying. ‘Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.’ For many people pushing themselves ahead comes naturally and they deal with the challenges of this life with equanimity. However, for many, it takes a little bit of fine tuning before they are able to take various challenges head on. Wellness and Inspiration coaches play a great role in these cases and can help you achieve that level of composure through their expertise.
However, getting such kind of expertise is not possible for many mainly because of accessibility and affordability. Solving this problem is Katherine Appello, Manhattan-based Inspiration and Wellness Coach. Born in New Jersey, Katherine has been helping individuals realize their true potential through meditation and other tools including pre-recorded seminars.
In an Interview with Times of Startups, Katherine said that some of the challenges in her personal life made her more resilient in her efforts. She believes in seeing the glass half full and that we need to take ownership of the choices we make so that we can make different choices going forward.
The ongoing pandemic has made things tougher for businesses and individuals worldwide. Due to the restriction in movement, it has become even more important to focus on mental wellness. People get inspired by motivational speakers to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. Among other things, motivational speakers also help people to succeed in business, improve their relationships, develop a positive attitude, become healthy, achieve financial prosperity, and have more fun in life.
Realizing that in this day of technology, everything possible should be at your fingertips, she provides wellness coaching through video conferencing too. Although, she regularly engages herself in public speaking and Interviews in Manhattan.
The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it. And in that process, it is always better if you can take help from professionals.
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